Montana’s civil caseload topped 50,000 last year. That may not seem to be a lot to those in more populated states, but it’s enough to drive the state’s legislature to act. Citing an overwhelmed bench and litigants deprived of “prompt, careful consideration,” the legislature issued a joint resolution that the state evaluate the cost and effectiveness of current court processes and “identify measures that will help improve the administration of justice and promote the nonadversarial resolution of family law disputes.” It’s yet to be seen if the study will be undertaken, as studies requested by the legislature are prioritized at the end of the legislative session.
It’s great to see a state legislature looking to get data on court performance and trying to find evidence-based solutions to what appears to be a problem for the courts. They say necessity is the mother of invention. Here, it appears to be the mother of evaluation as well.